Wednesday Duckstory: 1960 Liberty Bowl


Over the last few weeks we’ve focused on Oregon bowl history and we’ve been in a losing streak coming into the 1960 Liberty Bowl.  The 1958 Rose Bowl felt like a win for the program, despite the technical loss, because of the way Oregon played against mighty Ohio State.  The next season the Ducks found themselves in against Penn State at Philadelphia Stadium.  Unfortunately this would be an entirely different experience.

Oregon had started to become known for their speed and they were a one-touchdown underdog going into the game against Penn State.  It was a cold scene – with almost 15 inches of snow on the ground and consequentially very low ticket sales.  This would only be the second annual Liberty Bowl and at first it played out as an exciting matchup.  Let’s go quarter-by-quarter to see how it played out…

First Quarter:

Oregon made the first strike early in the game moving down the field for 88 yards.  The first quarter would remain 6 – 0.

Second Quarter:

Penn State came back with vengeance, scoring three touchdowns during the second quarter.  Their first TD came early from Don Jonas followed by a TD.  Penn State put two more strikes on the board, one from Al Gursky and one from QB Dick Hoak.  Now Oregon would go into halftime with a 15 point deficit.

Third Quarter:

The third quarter brought Oregon’s second, and final TD and Penn State would remain quiet.  Dave Grayson scored the TD and the two teams moved to the fourth quarter Ducks 12 Penn State 21.

Fourth Quarter:

This is where everything falls apart for Oregon.  Penn State would score three touchdowns in the final quarter and to top it off they would pick off two Oregon passes to ensure a PSU victory.  The game ends Oregon 12 Penn State 41.

It was a devastating blow to the Ducks.  Head coach Len Casanova walked away from the game disappointed, “Our worst defensive game of the year.”  The Ducks were now in a full-on bowl game losing streak despite their success during the regular season.  Next week we’ll take a look at the 1963 Sun Bowl when Oregon snaps out of their bowl game losing streak and picks up their first post-season victory since 1917.

Penn State02102041

UO…….Dave Grosz 1 run (kick failed), 5:40, 1st
PSU……Don Jonas 1 run (Henry Opperman kick), 12:50, 2nd
PSU……Al Gursky 2 run (Opperman kick), 2:25, 2nd
PSU……Dick Hoak 6 run (Opperman kick), :41, 2nd
UO…….Dave Grayson 10 run (pass failed), 5:31, 3rd
PSU……Ed Caye 1 run (Opperman kick), 9:03, 4th
PSU……Hoak 11 run (kick failed), 7:14, 4th
PSU……Dick Pae 33 pass from Hoak (Jonas kick), 5:14, 4th
Individual Leaders

Grayson (UO) 10-93, Hoak (PS) 9-61, Kerr (PS) 12-47.

Grosz (UO) 15-9-2-178,
Hoak (PS) 5-3-0-67, Hall (PS) 7-4-0-47.

Bruce (UO) 4-90, Grayson (UO) 1-43,
Opperman (PS) 4-49, Pae (PS) 1-33.